Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the European Union on Monday that he does not agree in any way to extending restrictions on grain exports from his country to EU neighbor Ukraine, Reuters reported, citing Agerpres.
“Our position is clear: Blocking land exports after September 15, when the relevant restrictions expire, is unacceptable in any form,” Zelensky said in a message on Telegram.
“We believe in an agreement with the European Commission, but we are ready for any situation,” the Ukrainian president added, adding that Ukraine is in contact with all parties to find a solution that satisfies everyone.
His reaction came after the agriculture ministers of Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia asked the European Commission last week to extend import restrictions on four Ukrainian agricultural products until at least the end of the year.
The European Union has suspended tariffs and other trade protection measures on Ukrainian imports
To help Ukraine after Russia’s war against Ukraine last February, the EU suspended tariffs and other trade protection measures on Ukrainian imports, including grain and other food products.
At this time, large quantities of Ukrainian grain, which should have been transported only to Eastern European states via the “unity corridors” (created to export Ukraine’s grain after it could no longer use its Black Sea ports), remained in these countries, selling below the prices offered by local producers.
All this distorted the markets of Eastern European countries and farmers in these countries were only partially compensated by compensations approved by the European Commission.
After Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria temporarily banned the import of some Ukrainian agricultural products, particularly grain, the European Commission reached an agreement with these four countries in late April to guarantee the transit of Ukrainian grain. It expires on September 15.
The Polish government has announced that it will extend the restrictions anyway, even if the European Commission decides otherwise.
Author: Bianca Cyrilla
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